1. Definition of promising, future-oriented breeding aims and the corresponding selection of crossing parents.
2. Selective pollination of 10 000 flowers of the mother variety each year with pollen from the father varieties.
3. Removal of some 10 000 apple pips from the crossed fruits in the autumn.
4. Sowing of the pips that have been removed the following spring; each pip theoretically constitutes a new variety.
5. Selection on the basis of susceptibility to disease, growth characteristics and fruit quality over a period of several years. To identify genetic properties, the ACW works with the latest molecular methods it has developed jointly with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich. No gene transfers are performed.
6. Storage trials, consumer and sales tests for evaluating the market prospects.
After 15 to 20 years, one in some 30,000 seedlings will have made it to the goal and be baptised as a new variety. Old varieties are also channelled into breeding in order to contribute valuable properties, such as resistance to disease, colour and taste nuances.
The latest variety of apple to be bred by the ACW is the Milwa c.o.v. (c.o.v. = Certificat d’obtention végétale). This was developed by crossing (Idared x Maigold) x Elstar in 1982. Milwa c.o.v. fruit is sold under the brand name of Diwa® in Switzerland, and under the name of Junami® in Europe and worldwide. The range of ACW varieties currently takes in Ariwa c.o.v., Iduna c.o.v., La Flamboyante c.o.v.and the pear varieties of Champirac c.o.v.und Valérac c.o.v.. These varieties are marketed by VariCom GmbH, a company set up specifically for the purpose.